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D.C. Council Shoots Down Internet Gambling

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The D.C. Council voted to repeal internet gaming in the District on Tuesday.
The D.C. Council voted to repeal internet gaming in the District on Tuesday.

The District's Internet Gambling law has been repealed. The D.C. Council today voted 10 to 2 in favor of scrapping iGaming over concerns about how the program became law.

Internet gambling's round-about and unusual path from far-fetched idea to District law ultimately led to its downfall. The program known as iGaming was technically okayed by council members in 2008 when they approved a lottery contract with a Greek gambling company. The contract included options for "non-traditional gaming," but did not spell out internet gambling. That was added several months later by the chief financial officer.

Then in late 2010, Council Member Michael Brown, without a public hearing or input from the community, added language to the District's budget bill, authorizing internet gambling. Months later, it became law.

But as details about the program started to trickle out, the pushback against iGaming began, first by community activists and later by council members, who expressed concern over what they perceived as the lack of transparency in the process.

The final straw may have been when Mayor Vincent Gray, who at first was a supporter of iGaming, came out last week against the program.

Council Member Brown says he will re-introduce the bill after tweaking it and several council members who voted to repeal the measure did
not rule out supporting iGaming in the future.

But as for D.C.'s push to become the first jurisdiction in the nation to hold online gambling, that is all but done.


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